Click Forensics, the company that maintains the Click Fraud Index, a network that monitors and reports on data gathered from more than 4,000 online advertisers and their agencies, has released its most recent quarterly report on click fraud.
The company found that the overall industry average click fraud rate rose to 16.6 percent for Q4 2007. That’s up from the 14.2 percent click fraud rate for the same quarter in 2006, and 16.2 percent for Q3 2007.
The major search engines have typically disputed the findings issued by Click Forensics, claiming the numbers don’t account for discounted clicks—clicks the search engines do not charge for or that are refunded into an advertiser’s account. Last March, Google even went on record saying that Click fraud is just 0.02% of clicks.
Last August, Yahoo opened a Traffic Quality Center and Google followed a week later with its own Ad Traffic Quality Resource Center, in part to address search marketers’ concerns with click fraud issues.
Other findings from today’s report include:
- The average click fraud rate of PPC advertisements appearing on search engine content networks, including Google AdSense and the Yahoo Publisher Network, was 28.3 percent in Q4 2007. That’s up from the 19.2 percent average click fraud rate for the same quarter in 2006 and 28.1 percent for Q3 2007.
- The 2007 industry average click fraud rate grew by 15 percent over the industry average click fraud rate for 2006.
- Q4 2007 click fraud traffic from botnets was 15 percent higher than click fraud traffic from botnets in Q3 2007.
- In Q4 2007, the greatest percentage of click fraud originating from countries outside North America came from India (4.3 percent), Germany (3.9 percent), and South Korea (3.7 percent).